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Tracing former owners


Robin
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You need to fill in a form V888 and send it off to the DVLA along with a cheque for £5.

Then wait (and wait, and wait) and about 3 months later you will get a set of photo copies of all the V5 change of owner details your car has seen.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/v888-request-by-an-individual-for-information-about-a-vehicle

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You need to fill in a form V888 and send it off to the DVLA along with a cheque for £5.

Then wait (and wait, and wait) and about 3 months later you will get a set of photo copies of all the V5 change of owner details your car has seen.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/v888-request-by-an-individual-for-information-about-a-vehicle

Thanks Kevin

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have done this with a few cars and bikes and the DVLA never fail to respond with the information... albeit it takes some weeks and the quality of the photocopies of the docs is not very good... still you get some really interesting info.

Sometimes previous owners have had a vehicle six / seven years and using the MoT info you can work out the usually low mileage that they did in the life of the car.

If you have a vehicle with a lot of previous owners it can show that a few owners had it a matter of months each, say doing very little mileage for instance, but possible doing some work on the vehicle but never getting it on the road.

Yet some owners have it for years and do only nominal mileages, other interesting facts like who owned the vehicle and / the vast distances between owners homes, sometimes the vehicle has lived its life in the same town with a dozen owners !

Of course some paperwork / MoT etc adds to the detective work and its also worth while talking to any servicing dealers that are still in business to get warranty repair info for instance.

I know some previous owners love to talk about their long lost pride and joy and so its worth while sending a letter to the previous owners to see if they have any information, pics , rebuild data etc... of course you need to let them respond to you and DON'T pester them if they don't reply to your enquiry... they may no longer live at that address or may even have passed away. :(

If you can add a heritage certificate then the original factory spec is revealed, all makes good reading and a nice history folder for what is now your "pride and joy". :)

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  • 3 years later...

This is an extract from the latest FBHVC newsletter written by Ian Edmunds -

 

“Several people have drawn my attention to an unfortunate revision to the DVLA service to supply information about a vehicle in  response to a V888 request.  Up until September it was possible for a vehicle keeper to obtain all the registration history that DVLA held for that vehicle on payment of a small fee.  DVLA considered that researching the vehicles history was ‘reasonable cause’ for needing the information.

 

However, since September DVLA have revised the requirements for ‘reasonable cause’ and researching the vehicle history is no longer acceptable.  The V888 form itself has been revised to reflect these changes.  Further guidance on ‘reasonable cause’ can be found at www.gov.uk/request-information-from-dvla   We will discuss this further with DVLA but we believe that the General Data Protection Regulation does unfortunately leave them with no choice.  Thus, we have all lost a valuable service.”

 

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